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Tom Jensen: Legislative pioneer

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

In the 1970s, Tom Jensen was an important person if you had business before the Legislature and lived in Knox County as he was the Republican leader of the House for eight of the 12 years he served (1966 to 1978).

Jensen led the effort for a truly independent Legislature. He helped change the way things were done in a Legislature where the annual salary was $1,800 a year in 1967 and there were no offices for the members.

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Slate of women campaigning to head Knox Dems

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

A slate of women candidates is looking to take over leadership of the Knox County Democratic Party. The candidate for chair is Emily Gregg, a senior majoring in Classics (with a concentration in civilization) at the University of Tennessee.

She got active in KCDP as a freshman in 2012. The Nashville native is making the rounds of district meetings during the run-up to the March 25 countywide reorganization convention and was a featured speaker at both the Democratic Women of Knoxville and the First District Democrats last week.

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Creative ways to build sidewalks

Nick Della Volpe
Features columnist

We need your help.

As a city councilman, you often hear from neighborhood groups and individuals about the need/desire for more sidewalks, a safer way to get around the neighborhood on foot or bike. In a May 10 Shopper article, I wrote about the five criteria the city’s engineers use to assign priority to sidewalk segments to build.

Let’s focus on quantity. Currently, Knoxville builds roughly a mile-plus of new sidewalks and rebuilds another mile-plus of reworked/repaired walks each budget year. How can we build more?

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Most interesting Volunteer

Marvin West
Sports

The civic club speech was “Highly favored, richly blessed.”

My modest remarks included tidbits about Sarah and Tom Siler and Ralph Millett and Roland Julian and a who’s-who of Tennessee sports names that are or were at least a small part of my life – all the way back to Nathan W. Dougherty, who tipped a nickel each week for newspaper delivery, Robert R. Neyland when he was bigger than his bronze statue and even an interesting sophomore tailback, John Majors, in a 1954 geography class.

“Any questions?” said the host.

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Barber tells story of Gazan people

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

It’s going to take Brian Barber a while to get used to the word emeritus, but he will continue the work he’s been doing at the University of Tennessee for the past 30 years from his new home in Washington, D.C.

Barber, the founding director of UT’s International Center for Study of Youth and Political Conflict, studied a generation of Palestinian boys who grew up in the midst of violent political conflict in the territories of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. When he started, they were adolescents; today they are grown men, married with children of their own.

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